The number of cars on UK roads with mileage discrepancies has jumped 25 per cent in three years.
Automotive data experts at Cap HPI have calculated that one in 16 cars now displays the wrong mileage, compared with one in 20 in 2014.
Known as ‘clocking’, the practice involves altering the mileage displayed on a vehicle, usually so that it appears lower than it is in reality with the intention of increasing its value.
Cap HPI believes the increasing popularity of car finance deals is partly to blame because many come with strict mileage limits that charge a fee for every extra mile travelled. This motivates owners to look into altering the figure to avoid a hefty charge.
Continued development of technologies that can digitally alter a car’s mileage has also played a part, with the Internet making it easy for car owners to find such services – some of which do operate legally.
Barry Shorto, head of industry relations at Cap HPI, said: “Not only should dealers make conducting mileage investigations an integral part of their business process to protect their reputation and their customers, they need to actively promote the fact to their customers that these checks have been done.”
In February, five staff from a Runcorn-based chauffeur service were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud at Chester Crown Court after it was discovered they had hidden up to 7.5 million miles on various cars they would later sell for a profit.